"A man can tell a thousand lies,
I've learned my lesson well,
Hope I live to tell,
The secret I have learned, 'till then,
It will burn inside of me..."
~~ Madonna, "Live to Tell"
Long before the discard phase of your relationship even begins, the narc has already begun laying the foundation for his/her sinister Smear Campaign.
The Goal: Character Assassination designed to make YOU look as unstable, unreliable and downright Crazy as possible. Period.
The Smear Campaign is intended to DESTROY your reputation, relationships, career, etc... Essentially, to destroy your LIFE.
My abuser began his Smear Campaign LONG BEFORE I even realized what was going on.
Here's how it works: The abuser weaves an intricate web of lies and stories catered to his/her goal of making him/her look like the victim of your Crazy Making. As the relationship enters the Discard phase, the stories and lies become more outlandish and intense. The abuser may even literally go through the motions of making it appear you are the dangerous one.
For instance, my abuser had family and friends convinced I was the unstable one. I was the stalker.
He would call/text me as though all was hunky-dory. I was led to believe we were "working on things," meanwhile, he was telling others he had left me and couldn't figure out why I was still coming around. He was "scared" because I kept calling and he didn't know what I "was capable of."
I often wondered why it was when friends or family would be around I'd always get sideways looks and questioning stares. But NO ONE would say a word. I KNEW something wasn't right.
In the end, when I finally worked up the courage to leave, the Truth about what he'd been saying and doing came out. Then, right on cue, came the Flying Monkeys.
In narc terms, Flying Monkeys are those individuals who believe the abuser's lies and stories -- they are Enablers. In an effort to aid the abuser, they will do his/her bidding. They bully the victim and go to great lengths to please the narc. These bullies are generally personalities who are Passive-Aggressive and seek similar approval and praise as the abuser -- only to a lesser degree.
The FMs believe you must be taught a lesson. You must PAY for the hurt you caused the abuser. So they may spy on you. They may contact you directly. They may spread rumors about you.
They will go to WHATEVER lengths necessary to create chaos and disorder.
The FMs' Goal: Provoke a response from YOU.
Whatever response you offer is then twisted to fit the warped picture the narc has painted -- "See? She IS crazy!," "I told you she would say that!," "Now you know what I'VE been putting up with!"
Blah blah blah.
My abuser had an entire harem of FMs.
Once the Smear Campaign is in full swing, the narc keeps him-/herself surrounded by their FMs. It serves a dual purpose, he/she not only is making your life a living hell, but they've got the fan club to back it up making him/her feel all the more justified in his/her actions. The FMs stand in awe of the stories and lies and cannot believe the "injustice" you have thrust upon the abuser. ** Poor things, if they only knew the TRUE injustice. **
"There are TWO sides to every story," abusers and FMs say. Indeed. There are.
Smear Campaigns can be EXTREMELY damaging for the target/victim. Even if you DON'T respond (which I HIGHLY recommend), it can take a while for third parties to realize they've been duped into believing the narc.
But, give it time, they WILL see the TRUTH. I promise.
As soon as the FMs don't play according to the narc's rules or begin to question him/her, they too become discarded and potential targets of the abuser's wrath.
With time, as you move forward and IGNORE the FMs' and narc's attempts to provoke a response, your growth and healing will show those who once believed the abuser's tales the REAL TRUTH.
I know it is VERY difficult, but, please believe me when I say, Silence is your best defense against such malicious, callous attacks by your abuser.
If you leave them be they will do a FINE JOB self-destructing on their own. Eventually, their lies will catch up with them -- EVERYTHING THAT IS HELD TOGETHER WITH LIES FALLS APART IN THE END.
When you remain silent, don't feed the negativity, and just breathe a sense of CALM washes over you.
"When a man knows the solitude of silence,
and feels the joy of quietness,
he is then free from fear and he feels the joy of the dharma."
~~ Gautama Buddha
This is the point where, as I've said before, only when you are safely on the opposite shore is it OK to look back with compassion.
It has taken a long time for me to get where I am. But with each passing day and each step I take forward I leave him and his toxicity that much further behind me. And those who knew me then compared to now cannot believe how far I've come. Hell, I can't believe it sometimes.
You will be AMAZED at how much easier it is to breathe when you aren't living under the weight of narcissistic expectations and abuse.
It takes a TREMENDOUS amount of strength to keep moving forward. I fight every day to continue putting one foot in front of the other.
There are days when my PTSD and anxiety are almost suffocating even though the storm has long passed.
But, as survivors, moving forward is what we do. We SURVIVE.
In Peace and Love,